Yahoo7 to merge head of sport and head of news roles as scale of restructure emerges

Yahoo7 will merge the roles of head of sport and head of news while most of its TV production team will be retrenched as part of the restructure announced earlier this week, Mumbrella understands.

Mumbrella has been told staff were informed at a meeting early this afternoon the restructure will see the publisher lose its TV team with ‘one or two’ staff redeployed to video production.

Euan Black replaced Simon Black as Yahoo7 head of news early last yaer

While the majority of editorial staff will remain in their roles, Mumbrella understands the roles of head of sport and head of news have been affected. These are currently held by Cornell Vander Heyden and Euan Black respectively. Mumbrella understands both employees were told on Tuesday.

Vander Heyden has been with the company for the almost three and a half years while Black has been in his role for 11 months. It is not yet clear which staff member will leave the company.

Cornell Vander Heyden’s role has also been impacted

The cuts follow speculation around the scale of Yahoo7’s planned redundancies after an ambiguous press release was released on Tuesday stated the company was restructuring to increasingly use to the Oath technology platform.

In Tuesday’s release, Yahoo7 stated its editorial team would continue to deliver “premium, unique and engaging content in the news, sport and lifestyle verticals” and that its sales team would continue to give clients access to audiences through platforms such as Gemini and Brightroll.

Concerns about the future of Yahoo7 in Australia have been ongoing since US telecommunications giant Verizon completed its US$4.48b deal with Yahoo in the US on June last year. When Verizon acquired Yahoo, it was merged with AOL to create digital media company Oath.

At the time, Yahoo7 – which is now jointly owned by Verizon subsidiary Oath and Seven West Media – said the joint venture would continue and include a broader content set. Seven West Media, however, then said it would launch and market its own long-form video platform and streaming service– which has subsequently been revealed as 7 Plus.

Since 2014, Yahoo7’s revenue and profit have been under pressure with the ongoing weakness in online display advertising with 10% of the company’s workforce cut in a 2016 restructure.

In last year’s annual report, Seven West Media stated: “after factoring in the impact of display, total net revenue declined 16% in the period.”

Yahoo7’s representatives declined to comment on Mumbrella’s questions due to ‘legal processes’.


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